Click here!


Theatre Review: High Society ***

Joy Watters reviews a new production of a musical with well-loved songs 'which features a particularly strong chorus'.

Tis the season for society weddings, and no sooner has Pippa pledged her troth than Pitlochry launches the season with classic upmarket Stateside nuptials. This stage musical of High Society goes right back to source and the script of the 1939 play, The Philadelphia Story, rather than the 50s movie.

The original romcom boasts playwright Philip Barry’s satire on the behaviour of the upper echelons and the learning curve they must travel to care about their fellow humans. Stage musical writer Arthur Kopit’s adaptation combines this with a host of Cole Porter songs.

The well-loved numbers are given a beautiful performance with a band, under the baton of Jon Beales firing on all cylinders, supporting the cast which features a particularly strong chorus.

High Society tells of rich ice maiden socialite Tracy Lord on the eve of her wedding to a wealthy, boring businessman. Her ex-husband and a journalist pitch up to throw her into confusion about her choice of groom.

Director John Durnin has excelled himself in the big numbers with slick choreography from Chris Stuart-Wilson. The design (Adrian Rees) is not so clearly high society: the set is a giant sugary white section of wedding cake which gives way to a Vegas-style brassy heart, and the women’s dresses do little for them (strange fabrics, neither swellegant nor elegant).

Helen Mallon in the lead role never really gets to the root of Tracy, the privileged princess who lacks empathy until her wedding eve leads her to self discovery and happiness. She falls for undercover journalist Mike (Cameron Johnson, who sings beautifully) while continuing her love-hate battle with ex, Dexter. Rebecca Elise, as Mike’s fellow journalist Liz, gives an outstanding performance in all departments: bold and in tune with the mood of the work. Mark Faith as Uncle Willie is also on point, hilarious as the drunk old guy and a talented song and dance man.

Runs in repertoire at Pitlochry Festival Theatre until October 14.

Tags: theatre

Comments: 0 (Add)

To post a comment, you need to sign in or register. Forgotten password? Click here.

Find a show

Search the site

Find us on …

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YouTube

Click here!